Australia has no-fault divorce. This means that there is no need to show any wrongdoing of either person.

The ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, shown by the parties having been separated for at least 12 months.

This means that you will have to wait 12 months from your separation date before you can apply for a divorce.

Either you or your ex-spouse may apply for a divorce. Alternatively, you and your ex-spouse may jointly apply for a divorce. The benefit of a joint application is that you will not have to pay additional legal costs in serving your ex-spouse with the divorce papers, and if you have children under 18 years of age, you will not have to attend the divorce hearing.

If you make a single (not joint) divorce application, you will be required to have your ex-spouse personally served with the divorce papers. If you have children under 18 years of age, you will also be required to attend the divorce hearing.

Property division, child custody and divorce are separate things in family law – you can do one, all or none. There is no minimum time you have to wait before dividing your assets in a property settlement or formalising custody arrangements.

However, once your divorce has been granted, the clock then starts ticking for property settlement, and you then have 12 months from the divorce date to have finalised your property settlement or risk being considered “out of time”.

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